World Travel

Nuevo Leon, Mexico

February, 2008

Estado Nuevo Leon, Mexico
Nuevo Leon, Mexico,
El Portrero Chico
February, 2008
The national flag of Mexico
Mexico's Flag
State seal of Nuevo Leon
State seal of Mexico's
state of Nuevo Leon

I went to Mexico on a little climbing trip with Greg Handelman ("Squeak")
in February of 2008. I had big intentions of big ascents in a place which
had a big reputation for being alot like Yosemite in California with regard
to the size of the rock climbs there.

This was one of those times when I had no idea what I was getting myself
into. I was so intimidated by the mere scale of the place that I was in
completely over my head. I could not rationalize the size of the massive
rock formations that soared into the skies directly above us. To make matters worse,
I had talked some big talk back in the States to Greg before we'd ever set foot
in this place, so whatever bravado he was counting on from me completely
evaporated once we arrived at El Portrero Chico.

Enroute from Dallas on a tiny regional jet
Bumpkin & Squeak
en route to Mexico
6 November 2008
Did YOU know it would be 3000 feet higher than us?!
"Toldja so, Bumpkin!"
Cold realization
6 November 2008
'You're gonna need one of these to kill the pain, Bumpkin!'
Squeak & caguama
Quinta la Pagoda
6 November 2008

Mario at Quinta la Pagoda is a wonderful host. He is an engineer by trade,
and he took a shine to Squeak (Greg is a plumber by trade, and he's 100% mathematical).
If you stay in the housing at Quinta La Pagoda, you get this kitchen. If you choose
to camp in a tent, you have a different, slightly less homey, kitchen. Both are equipped
with appliances, cookware and water. If you're lucky, there will be a gaggle of Canadian
cupcakes around for entertainment and good company.

(Wish he could keep his BIG mouth shut!)
After the big BBQ
Quinta la Pagoda
6 November 2008
Cook your tortillas here, amigo...
Mario's old wood-
fired oven (no one used)
7 November 2008
Da fridge. Da ambience...
Be here or pay
big-time next door
7 November 2008
Nice view into the courtyard
The kitchen door
at Mario's
7 November 2008

Mario hosted a big chicken barbeque on our first night there... and for me,
it did not go so well. More big talk after the deceptively potent tequila...
Our first and second climbing days, we explored at the Mini-super wall. Everthing here is one-pitch,
but that didn't fail to intimidate us! We left some gear behind, bailing off of one particular scarey climb...

Essential cookwear for Nuevo Leon?
Rain sticks in
Quinta la Pagoda
7 November 2008
These one-pitch routes caused us some grief.
The Mini-Super Wall
2nd climbing day
8 November 2008
Always a welcome sight after getting the crap scared out of you on El Toro!
The courtyard
Quinta la Pagoda
8 November 2008

I had wanted to climb Estrellita, a crag that towered some 1200 feet above our heads
at Mario's, but I was too afraid to fight my way up it because it was beyond the limits
of my ability. I probably could have followed it if someone else had led it, but it would
have taken more than a day for me to do that. I spent more than a few spare minutes
just staring at the walls around me, completely intimidated. I was amazed at how casually
the better climbers all around us enjoyed a completely different perspective of the
difficulty of these routes. And I was envious of their ability.

Works more than Ramon...
Plumber's pose #2
Quinta la Pagoda
8 November 2008
Most of the gear we ran around this place with...
The rack
for Potrero
10 November 2008
Mario's trees and the crag named Estrellita
Estrellita (center) and
Space Boyz (right)
10 November 2008
Okay. This is REALLY REALLY big.
In awe of
El Toro
10 November 2008

After a week of being humbled, one of us finally hit his stride, (and it wasn't me!). Greg was
a sport-climbing fool on our last day there. We went a little "remote," choosing an area off the beaten
path. I think we did six or seven pitches, of which I led but two. Far below us, in one of the cisterns,
lay a bloated, dead hog. So, we drank bottled water the rest of the day.

We nearly missed our flight home because our cab driver - whom I'd already paid - never showed up.
We managed to get a different cab to the airport. No mean feat, because Hidalgo is a little out of the way.
Luck, and our fearless, faithful new cab driver, saw us to the airport in the nick of time (we only had to
wait to board for an hour).

If you like jalapenos, cilantro & avocados as your green vegetables, oranges for breakfast, and beer
as a staple beverage, Hidalgo is for you. Me, I just like the people...

All images Copyright 2010 EBBoykin, Jr
unless otherwise specified. Contact Me